Antonio da Correggio: "Jupiter and Io" (1532).
The painting depicts Jupiter in the form of a cloud as he steals a kiss from the beautiful river nymph Io.
Click on image for full size
Kunsthistorishes Museum, Vienna
Io was a beautiful priestess of the Roman goddess, Juno. Juno was the jealous wife of
, the king of the gods. Jupiter was indeed very unfaithful. When Jupiter fell in love
with Io, he transformed himself into the shape of a dark cloud to hide himself from
his jealous wife Juno.
Juno saw the cloud and knew it was her husband. As soon as Juno was approaching, Jupiter turned Io into a white cow to avoid his wife. But Juno tied the poor cow and sent her faithful servant Argus to watch over Io. Argus had a hundred eyes and only a few were ever closed at
any time. To free Io, Jupiter sent his son Mercury to sing and tell boring stories to
make Argus sleep with all his eyes. Mercury then set Io free.
The Jovian moon Io was named for the mythological
character Io by Johannes Kepler and Simon Marius. And finally, when Voyager 1 passed Io
in March 1979 and imaged the surface, the image clearly showed the hoof print of a
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